July 15-21, 2016 Munising, Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretches 42 miles, between Munising and Grand Marais along Lake Superior. Pictured Rocks is famous for its rugged shoreline, towering 50 to 200’ high, of multicolored sandstone cliffs, massive sand dunes, waterfalls, and beaches.
We started our boat tour from Munising, MI, the tour was 32 miles round trip, there were many points of interest, Lover Leap, Indian Head, Miners Castle and Chapel Rock, battleship Rock and Spray falls, which flows 70’ down into Lake Superior. The weather was great, about 75, sunny, with a little wind.
The sandstone is stained by the minerals in the groundwater. The color occurs when the groundwater seeps into the cracks and down the rock face, Iron (red and orange0, copper (blue and green), manganese (brown and black), limonite (white).
There are several shipwreck sites in the area. The Bermuda, 145’ schooner is only 30’ underwater and intact, the steamer Smith Moore sank after it collided with another ship in 1889 and is mostly intact and upright in 95’ of water they both can be viewed by glass bottom boat, or scuba diving.
Sea caves about 20’ underwater can be explored by scuba diving, they are under cliffs that the sandstone has been eroded by waves.
There are many ways to experience viewing the rocks such as; kayaking, renting a pontoon boat or catamaran. We decided to go on the catamaran with a hundred other people!! We will warn anyone that plans on going, sit up top, but towards the back of the boat, up front the top of the boat is high, making it hard to see over. Also, I suggest getting to the boat loading zone at least 1/2 hr to 45 mins early as the line gets very long and chances are you won’t sit together.
It was a pretty warm and sunny day, the water was so clear and blue, and lucky us no wind which means no choppy water!! The rocks were magnificent, we were amazed at the height of the rock formations as well as the colors running thru.
It was time to head out to Houghton, MI after a wonderful week in Newberry, as we were packing up we could see it was going to be some nasty weather, the clouds were dark and menacing. A few people that we had been talking to in the campground came over to say good bye but also talk about driving in the wind and rain.
There is one rule we broke as we were hooking the truck to the coach, we started talking to neighbors, when that happens mistakes are made or you forget what you were doing. There is a procedure we follow, but that day it wasn’t to be. When we got almost 1/2 way to Houghton, we did our normal stop to check out around the coach and truck, well we found out we had forgotten to connect the most important electrical plug. That means we had been without lights or turn signals. The cable had also been dragging on the ground and was now totally ruined. Darn, as we had just gotten this new cable as the old one was frayed. This time we ordered 2 new cables, just in case.
We had not even left the campground and it started pouring, we were second guessing our decision as we listened to the radio and heard about all the wind damage and flooding that was going on in the direction we were headed. After awhile the rain stopped, and lucky us we never had rain again the rest of our trip that day.
We arrive safely in Houghton, but come on back and check out Houghton, MI with us and find out about the copper in the area.